“Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God.” — Exodus 34:29 (ESV)
The Example of Moses
We find in the character of Moses a man transformed by a face-to-face, unveiled encounter with the living God. Exodus 34:29-35 (ESV) says:
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God. Aaron and all the people of Israel saw Moses, and behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him. But Moses called to them, and Aaron and all the leaders of the congregation returned to him, and Moses talked with them. Afterward all the people of Israel came near, and he commanded them all that the Lord had spoken with him in Mount Sinai. And when Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face. Whenever Moses went in before the Lord to speak with Him, he would remove the veil, until he came out. And when he came out and told the people of Israel what he was commanded, the people of Israel would see the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face was shining. And Moses would put the veil over his face again, until he went in to speak with Him.
Moses serves as an important example for you and me. Moses was a man chosen to go before God on behalf of his people and relay the will and heart of God back to them. And by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, we are now chosen and transformed to live out the same calling. In 1 Peter 2:9 (ESV) Peter declares that we are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that [we] may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called [us] out of darkness into His marvelous light.” We are to operate in the same capacity that Moses did. We are to be children of God that bear the image of our Heavenly Father and declare His grace, love, power and goodness to a world in desperate need of relationship with Him. What happened to Moses in Exodus 34 holds true for you and me today: When we meet with God, we take on the image of His glory. The difference is that the glory of God now dwells internally rather than externally by the powerful sacrifice of Jesus. As Moses’ face shone with the glory of God, our new nature is now meant to shine, declaring the immeasurable grace and power of Jesus’ sacrifice.
Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:6-7 (ESV), “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” The glory of God now dwells within us. And we are to contain His glory as water in jars of clay, that we would pour out His love and grace for all to see. Just as the people of Israel saw the face of Moses and knew He had met with God, we are to meet with our Heavenly Father face to face and be transformed by His presence for all to see. Jesus’ death has paved the way for you to meet with God face to face — unveiled. Take time in prayer to see the face of God and allow Him to transform you into the likeness of Jesus.
— Craig Denison, First 15
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